Cooling the house without air conditioning: tips for keeping it cool

With the arrival of the first heat wave of the year, are you wondering how to cool your house without air conditioning? Here are all the easy tips to help you withstand the exceptional heat of the coming week while keeping the house cool.

[Mise à jour le 15 juin 2022 à 11h35] If we will have to wait a little longer for the official arrival of summer, the summer temperatures are not long in coming! The first heat wave of the year sets in this week after an exceptional heat wave which had already affected France last May. Many regions should expect to endure at least 3 consecutive days with temperatures that will not drop below 20°C at night. During the day, the mercury will continue to climb to reach up to 40°C in the southern half of the country. To withstand rising temperatures, it is important to keep the house cool but also to make every effort to cool your interior even without air conditioning.

The good news is that there are tips that will prevent heat from entering the house and therefore limit the rise in indoor temperatures. Other solutions will also make it possible to lower the temperature of a room by a few degrees without air conditioning. Discover our tips for freshen up your house or apartment naturally and without air conditioning best and keep the heat out.

What are the tips for refreshing the house?

Some grandmother’s tricks allow you to lower the temperature without air conditioning while others will prevent the feeling of heat. Here are some solutions to try at home to cool the house:

  • If you have a fan, place a bottle of frozen water or a bowl of ice cubes in front so that it propels cooler air.
  • It is possible to put a wet cloth in front of your windows to limit the entry of heat and provide a little humidity throughout the room.
  • Wetting the front of the windows or the terrace can also make it possible to lower the temperature of the house by taking advantage of a little humidity.
  • It seems obvious but the change of bed linen account. Swapping your winter duvet for a finer duvet suitable for the summer heat or a simple flat sheet, allows you to sleep peacefully without being overwhelmed by unbearable night heat and which will prevent you from sleeping properly. Prefer natural materials that limit the feeling of heat, as is the case with linen.
  • To have a good sleep too, the best thing is to take cool showers rather than hot ones even if it may seem obvious. Using cold water also has the advantage of not creating too much fog, humidity or steam in the bathroom. This same heat which could spread everywhere in the interior and which it would be difficult to evacuate by opening the windows because of the outside heat.
  • On the kitchen side, it is the same main idea that must be remembered since using the oven, for example, generates heat. Even if the door remains closed after preparing the dish, the heat is released. It is therefore better to be satisfied with cook cold dishes. So many little tips that will change your life and which, put together, will save you the day this summer, we guarantee it.
  • In the same way, one must avoid using electrical appliances because they generate heat. It is also best to turn off the lights to limit the feeling of heat.
Close shutters and windows © Elena Eliseeva /123RF

It’s a technique that everyone knows. Certainly the most logical and least expensive! However, it is worth remembering that shutters closed in summer do not in any way keep the interior cool if the windows themselves are not closed. Indeed, closed shutters will filter the sun’s rays but will not prevent the heat from coming inside if the windows are open. We must therefore think carefully about keep windows and shutters closed when the sun starts beating down.

Ideally, this technique should be followed from the first rays of the sun. from late morning (10.30 a.m. to 11 a.m., depending on the region) and juntil the last rays (about 6 p.m.). Remember to close the shutters a little earlier if you leave the house before and do not plan to return for a while. You will enjoy entering an interior that is not oppressive. Close shutters and windows is particularly important for rooms that are directly exposed to the sun on the south side. If you do not have a shutter, the curtains can also be used as a barrier to filter the sun’s rays. We will then prefer them thick and opaque rather than in light and transparent veiling because they will retain the heat.

When to ventilate the house during the heat wave?

Open your Spanish window © Ronstik /123RF

While your interior has been confined all day, the urge is great to open everything when you get home from work around 6-7 p.m. Be patient and wait for the day to go down. This is when the temperatures begin to drop. So don’t hesitate to open wide all the windows and create pleasant air currents from one room to another. It is particularly a good method to be sure to have a good night’s sleep without hot flashes, often synonymous with the first sign of insomnia.

In the event of a particularly hot night, if the bedroom window is a little far from the bed, it is also recommended to leave the window a bit open (in spanish preferably if the window has this functionality). It is indeed necessary to take into account the fact that the nocturnal gusts of summer wind can be intense and cause an unpleasant feeling of blocked nose once the early morning comes. The best thing is therefore not to be tempted by the reflex of opening the window wide before going to bed.

Also ventilate in the morning lets leave a good maximum freshness enter the house before the hot hours. The Air Currents make it possible to cool the house more quickly, so do not hesitate to multiply the opening of the windows. As soon as the sun’s rays are more intense and the outside temperatures become higher, the windows should be closed.

Fan, air cooler… Which device to cool the house?

ceiling fan
Opt for a ceiling fan © Fotozotti /123RF

Failing to set up air conditioning in your home, several devices can allow you to cool the house with more or less result:

  • For an immediate feeling of freshness, opt for a classic fan with a preference for the pedestal fan with rotating head. Leave it in a corner of the room so that it diffuses and returns fresh air to the four corners of the bedroom, the living room or even the kitchen. There are very discreet models that can be unscrewed and put back in their box in the cellar once autumn arrives. Note that some fans incorporate a fogger to be even more efficient.
  • For a targeted action in telework for example, bet on the usb blower. Kind of mini fan, this object has the advantage of being able to connect directly to the computer. Convenient when you work from home with a laptop that you carry around everywhere and which tends to heat your knees.
  • For a more efficient solution than a fan, you can opt for the air freshener which has a reserve in which ice cubes are placed. The air diffused by the fan is thus cooler and makes it possible to gain one or two degrees depending on the size of the room.
  • For a long-term solution, you can also opt for a ceiling fan. By stirring the air, this object creates a fresh and light breeze and allows the interior temperature to drop by a few degrees. Consider the size of the room in which you are going to install it: for a large room such as a living room, you will rather choose a fan with a diameter of 132 cm. On the other hand, for a small room, a fan of 76 cm in diameter will suffice.
  • About the air conditioner, if it is a little late to install a complex system, a mobile air conditioner can be considered to increase comfort, but this has a certain cost. It will then simply be necessary to find an outlet for the pipe so that it evacuates the hot air from the room.

Water your house to cool it down

Here is a grandmother’s trick that will allow you to obtain a very pleasant feeling of freshness during periods of heat wave. So water the front of your house, the edge of your windows or your terrace so that the water evaporates and lowers the temperature. You prefer to perform this operation in the evening and in the morning. Also remember to take into account the situation in your region with regard to water, because heat waves often mean drought.

Plants to freshen up the house

Green house facade © Giancarlo Liguori /123RF

Know that plants can absolutely help you cool the house by acting as natural air conditioning. We can then have the green plants in the house but also on the windowsill or even in a planter. You can bet on aloe vera, ficus, palm, boston fern, sanseveria… The plants will have the advantage of filtering the sun’s rays and lowering the temperature. If you have a balcony or a terrace, green these spaces to avoid the reverberation of the accumulation of heat on the materials.

For a long-term solution, vegetate a wall or the roof of a house is not only very trendy but also has the advantage of keeping a relatively cool temperature inside the house. Indeed, earth and plants, which replace slate or tiles, make it possible to protect waterproofing materials (insulating membrane) solar radiation. The insulation of the roof is thus improved, which tempers the rise in interior temperature in the hottest part of the summer.

Paint the facade of the house in a light color

Paint the facade of your house in a light shade © Alexander Zveiger /123RF

As for the long term, keep the house cool also involves a good use of the materials of the facade of the house. Thereby, some materials reflect heat and the rays of the sun, such as stone, plaster, lime and light paint. If you plan to repaint your walls, choose colors like white, beige, yellow, orange and light red instead. This solution acts as a “small barrier” against the sun’s rays. This is obviously not worth real thermal insulation of walls but can nevertheless be useful to lose a few small symbolic but not insignificant degrees to breathe.

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